Candidate Statement: I’m Ann Garrison. I’ve been a KPFA weekend news reporter for years. I also work in online media, with articles published in the Black Agenda Report, San Francisco BayView, Black Star News, Counterpunch, Consortium News and elsewhere.
I’d like to see KPFA and Pacifica radically reimagined, but I’m also realistic about how slowly an organization this size can move.
As a staff rep on the KPFA LSB, I would have three priorities:
1) Restoring the Program Council. We need a Program Council that reviews proposals for new programming, as well as management proposals to cancel existing programming. I am particularly concerned that Guns and Butter, Twit Wit Radio, Counterspin, and Discreet Music were summarily canceled and Settin’ the Standard lost an hour, all without any community process.
A Program Council that reviews locally-produced programming is the “community” in community radio. Without one, KPFA is listener-sponsored radio, but not community radio. Management should work together with staff and community representatives on programming, instead of claiming that power entirely for itself.
It’s often said that “professionals” should be trusted with all programming authority. But Rachel Maddow is a professional. So are Sean Hannity, Chris Hayes, Jake Tapper, Tucker Carlson, Thomas Friedman, and any number of other warmongering voices of the corporate media. In contrast, KPFA’s mission is to be peace-and-justice radio, and to sustain an active, collaborative relationship with the community that supports the station. And let’s remember that some of KPFA’s most important programs were put on the air by a Program Council: Bay Native Circle, Womens’ Magazine, Pushing Limits, Full Circle, Voices of the Middle East, and more.
2) Resisting schemes to break up the Pacifica Network. I am opposed to breaking up the network for many reasons, but most of all because the Pacifica brand is what holds the 200+ affiliate stations together. I explained this in a piece I wrote for the Black Agenda Report: www.blackagendareport.com/pacifica-grassroots-radio-lifeline-lets-keep-it-together
3) Respectful treatment of unpaid staff by management. Unpaid staff are the vast majority of staff, but we lack an organization that represents us in the way that the Communication Workers of America represents paid staff. The Unpaid Staff Organization had no power, so management could simply ignore it. The CWA has a contract. We too need a contract, or other means of establishing and enforcing basic rights for unpaid staff.
As well as the above three goals, I would like the LSB to be a sounding board for the community. The Local Station Board needs to conduct community town hall meetings twice a year, as required by the Pacifica Bylaws. We should listen to our listeners.
I thank you for your support and your vote. Please also vote for Anthony Fest, producer and editor of The Project Censored Show, and Freewillin’ Franklin Sterling, KPFA apprentice program instructor and producer of Full Circle.
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